The Inventor Of Peanut Butter Isn't Who You Think

If you love peanut butter as much as many people do, then it is probably a pantry staple you always have on hand. Peanut butter just goes with so many dishes, including the iconic peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and can be used in so many different ways. And while you might believe George Washington Carver is the inventor of this spreadable source of protein, you would be wrong. Carver was responsible for bringing the legume to popularity in the United States to the point of making peanuts a staple. However, he did not invent our beloved peanut butter. He was behind over 300 other peanut-based inventions though, including shampoo, glue, and chili sauce among many others (via National Peanut Board).

While peanut butter can actually be traced back as early as the Aztecs and Incas, it didn't enter modern history until much later. The first iteration of the product we know and love was actually a peanut butter paste. A Canadian, Marcellus Gilmore Edson, was the one to patent a paste made from roasted peanuts in 1884. Just over a decade later, a well-known name was behind a process that created peanut butter straight from raw peanuts, as Dr. John Harvey Kellogg patented peanut butter in 1895.

Kellogg isn't the only one behind peanut butter

Yes, the man behind so many of our favorite cereals and tons of other snacks and processed products was actually the one behind peanut butter. While we love sweet and salty combinations today like chocolate and peanut butter, peanut butter and jelly, or even peanut butter-filled pretzels, the original use for peanut butter didn't exactly have this in mind. Kellogg really created the product for and marketed it to people without teeth as a protein substitute (via HuffPost).

Later, in 1903, Dr. Ambrose Straub invented and patented a machine to make peanut butter. By 1922, Joseph Rosefield, a chemist, further refined the process to more easily make peanut butter smooth and to keep the oil from separating out. This is when partially hydrogenated oil was first introduced to peanut butter. In 1928, Rosenfield licensed his contribution to the process to the company that makes Peter Pan peanut butter. Finally, in 1932, Rosenfield himself began producing peanut butter called Skippy.

Peanut butter has come a long way since the Aztecs, George Washington Carver, and Kellogg, and we have plenty of other people to think for perfecting spreadable peanut butter.